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It's worth noting that Washington is a relatively small city, acreage-wise, and it's very easy and quick to stay in the close-in suburbs and take mass transit into town. You can save meaningful cash this way; suburban hotels are often substantially cheaper and D.C.'s hotel tax is an eye-popping 14.5%. Parts of Arlington and Alexandria, Va., as well as Bethesda and Silver Spring, Md., have easy subway access into the District.
• The Swiss Inn, 1204 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20005, +1-800-955-7947. The Swiss Inn is the More...
• Pentagon. Just across the Potomac River from downtown DC. While lingering is not recommended for security reasons, you should know it was once the largest government office building in the world, and covers 4 zip codes (Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Defense). Group tours are still available by advance arrangement, but the military no longer hosts other tours. It is considered the height of bad taste in Washington to stop your car on the road near the 9/11 attack site and take pictures (not to mention that you'll attract More...
Washington D.C. is served by three major airports.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), on the west bank of the Potomac River just south of the city, is the closest and most convenient. Walkways connect the concourse level of the B and C terminals to the Washington Metro rail platform. To get downtown (10 minutes), take the Yellow Line toward Mt Vernon Square/UDC. For West End destinations, take the Blue Line toward Largo Town Center.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is located at Dulles (pronounced Dull-ess), More...
The city is split into four quadrants centered on the Capitol Building: NE, NW, SE and SW. City roads are laid out in a grid, with east-west streets named for letters (then alphabetically single-syllable words, double-syllable words, etc.) and north-south streets named for numbers. Since an address can theoretically apply to four different locations in Washington, street addresses properly indicate the quadrant. The Northwest quadrant is the largest and home to most items of interest to visitors. The grid has a few peculiarities which are the legacy of More...
Washington, D.C., or the District of Columbia, is the capital of the United States of America. It is a planned city, designed specifically to house the federal government, and is not part of any state. Its history, beautiful architecture, and excellent cultural centers attract millions each year. It is surrounded by the states of Virginia and Maryland. Washington, D.C. was established in 1791 by an act of the infant More...
Capitol Hill plays a central role in the country's political life, as two of the three branches of the federal government - the legislative and the judicial - are located here. Washington D.C.'s layout centers on Capitol Hill, with the city's four quadrants starting at the Capitol Building.
• Capitol Building. (202) 225-6827. Metro: Union Station on the Red Line; Capitol South on the Blue or Orange Lines. The Capitol Building is filled with impressive paintings, statues and historical exhibits. The Capitol is open to guided More...